The Secret to enjoying Cruises the healthy way

Posted on Jul 6th 2011 by Florida Blue

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Summer is here and we at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida are excited about the different ways Floridians are utilizing the sun. With a whole host of activities to choose from, cruises seem to be a favorite with everybody we asked. We talked to a few cruise aficionados, who had some interesting tidbits to share about their cruise experience, especially about how to stay healthy while still having fun in the sun.
Karla Williams who went on a 7 day family cruise in 2010 says her biggest challenge was getting over the the concept of endless free food. With food choices from the healthy to the not-so healthy, Karla took advantage of the fun activities like line-dancing or ballroom dancing to work out those calories. She also took to taking the stairs and dropping in on the aerobics classes that were held in the gym on the cruise.
That’s the same advice Brian Benda went with – he went on two snorkeling trips and a walking city tours – activities that offered him several hours of non-stop fun but also helped him get some exercise in. For Melissa Adams, getting up for the AM yoga, helped her get most out of her day. Christy  Harding, who just recently returned from a cruise suggests using the dining room more than the buffet. “Table service is great because you get waited on. Plus, you’re served individual serving sizes instead of helping yourself to an entire plate of bacon. If the buffet isn’t in front of you, you don’t know what you’re missing and you still leave the table well-satisfied.”
We think that’s great advice. So, the next time you are packing your bags for that cruise destination, remember:
  1. Take the stairs. Cruise ships are huge and offer many exciting adventures. Take the time to explore your ship, starting with those stairs.
  2. Try to drink as much water as possible. Those lovely drinks come with a price tag and calories. Enjoy yourself but be mindful how many you consume/day.
  3. If you’re in the buffet line, start with a salad. Not only are you getting in your fibers, you are also filling up. 
  4. Try out the dining room. Not only are you resisting the temptation of endless food, you also have more control over the portions presented before you.
  5. Take advantage of the abundant fun activities that will get you moving like dancing, scuba diving, aerobic classes, yoga, etc.
We want to hear from the cruise lovers - any other tips we missed on how to manage health while you're having fun? 

Filed under: Healthy Living  

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Taking the stairs on the ship is a big deal and very helpful in keeping the weight off. (Also helps with not having to always wait for an elevator...) And, although I take full advantage of the buffets, I found that NOT eating luncj just because it's there and having a really good breakfast and dinner worked out well. I was never hungry for lunch anyway... just wanted to eat it because it was "free." Once I stopped doing that, plus taking the stairs, I came back from a 7-day cruise having gained only 1 pound, which was a victory in my book!

That IS a victory! Congratulations. We are learning that there are so many great tips out there to manage your health even when you are having fun on vacation. Thanks for visiting us and we hope you keep coming back to read more!

I agree with Christy. Eating in the dining room does control portion size. When the menue selections entree is not a healthy choice, the maitre d' is more then willing to substitute your entree with a salad or baked potatoe. Just ask.

Colleen - we love the idea of substituting or adding to your entree with a salad or baked potato. Simple suggestion which nets a healthy return - Thanks for the awesome tip!

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